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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015)

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  1. SyCo87
    Joker, would you say the Meelec Matrix2 is superior to the V-Moda M-80 sq.-wise?
  2. ljokerl Contributor
    No, I haven't.
    I don't think it's necessarily better but I didn't compare them due to pretty different signatures. The M-80 is definitely warmer and bassier, with a more lush and full-bodied sound. The Matrix seemed to me fairly neutral (it was a loan and went back, I think Tyll @ InnerFidelity has it now). If it had more treble, it could pass for "analytical" but as is it's just smooth and neutral-ish. 
  3. hitme987
    Hi ljokerl,
    I want to buy a headphone(Over/On ear) with budget around 200$. I listen to Melodic Death, Thrash, Black and all speed type metal genres.
    I basically love a signature with good instrument seperation & good bass thump, overall bass. Vocals need not to be prominent. I love to have more significance on rythym,bass guitars with detailing & drums especially snare double-bass drums bass thump.
    I need it to use with my desktop and so please suggest something which suits me the best.
    Here is my experience with some of the headphones/IEM's I own sound wise:
    1) Sony MDR V55(On ear)- Vocals focused more(Overcomes guitars), somewhat less bassy for my liking, need more thump and more instrument seperation.
    2) Xiaomi Piston V2.1(IEM)- I use this with my Sansa Clip Zip with +6 bass EQ and it is my perfect taste, my favorite headphone in my current collection. Bass is good enough, would like more instrument seperation and better mids/highs as well as more detailing. So, basically I need a good upgrade to this.
    3) Skullcandy Titan S2TTDY033 (IEM) - Probably perfect in terms of bass and warmness for me but would like more better instrument seperation, better detailing in mids and highs.
    4) Sony MH1C (IEM) -  Sound is very less. Couldn't able to listen to songs at good volume even when cramped at +15DB on my Sansa Clip Zip. I liked piston signature(with +6 bass EQ) much more than MH1C, though two are pretty similar
    Another most important thing to mention is comfort, my ears are pretty small. I'm able to insert piston only with Foam tips, all size flanges used to make me uncomfortable. Sony MDR-V55 gives a pain in my ear within just minutes of hearing. I tried everything with MDR V55, tried to adjust headband, also bought 2 replacement pads. I bought these 2 :
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290901698506 & http://www.ebay.com/itm/300802862033 .Honestly nothing made it comfortable and also sound signature is not the perfect I desire of.
    Skullcandy Titan S2TTDY033 & Sony MH1C are both pretty much perfect for me in terms of comfort.
    PS: I don't have an amplifier, I am looking to use with my desktop. My bro already got a Sony MDR-V6 that he can give to me, shall I just buy a good amp and save all the budget? Can it actually meet my signature needs if amped ? Also any suggestions on its comfort would be appreciated.
    So, if Sony MDR v6 amped can meet my signature, I will not buy another headphone. If not I'm looking to buy one in 200$ budget. Or else a headphone+good amp in 200$ also would be fine with me.Also, comfort is pretty important too, spent over 100$(with pads etc) on my MDR v55 which gone in vain :frowning2:
    I live in India and I am ordering to my friend in USA. So, I can't test them or return and would solely buy on your suggestions.Though I will be able to order from any USA online or offline store.
    I ordered Sony MH1C and Xiaomi Piston V2.1 Reading your reviews and I can't be more happy with the purchases. Honestly you do such a great job with these reviews. I hope you'll find some time to read my post and give out your valuable opinion. I really appreciate it
  4. dweaver
    ATH M50x would probably work well for you.
  5. DisCHORDDubstep
    MDR-V6 is a rather bright headphone. Not what you seem to be looking for.
    Some suggestions: Logitech UE6000 really great with metal. Lots of bass impact and great texture with good mids. Upper treble is rolled off, giving them a laid back sound signature. Fantastic comfort, although some experience fit issues.

    M50x is good too. There's an abundance of reviews on them, so no need to go too in depth, although I will say the bass doesn't kick as hard as the UE6000's.
    The beats solo2 is another great choice. Imo, better comfort, looks, and sound than the Sennheiser Urbanite which I auditioned for a week.
    B&W P5's are great. A kid at my school has them. Didn't have that much time with them, but good overall.
    ALRIGHT now lets see what ljokerl suggests... :popcorn:
  6. dweaver
    New P5 series 2 are excellent but the P5 is about $100 more than budget
  7. ljokerl Contributor
    I think the M50 or M50X is a good recommendation with the caveat that you may have to raise the bass a little via EQ if you want to match a Piston that you've already EQd to increase bass (that's quite a lot of bass). You can also try the Creative Aurvana Live! to prioritize comfort - not sure what you issue was with the V55 but I think for smaller ears the fit of the CAL! is perfect.
    Also, if you have the option, you should try the V6 just to see where it stands for you. It doesn't have hugely enhanced bass, but it's pretty punchy and a good headphone overall. Like the M50, it may need EQ to get up to Piston + 6 bass levels. It doesn't really need an amp but if you found that you couldn't get up to listening volumes with the MH1C you may find the V6 too quiet as well. However, at that point we're talking potentially dangerous volume levels so I can't really make a recommendation towards boosting the volume further with an amp. 
  8. hitme987
    Well, I listen to sometimes old metal recordings which doesn't got that good volume. MH1C volume maxed was enough for most recordings though would like a bit more overall volume wise. With rock boxed Sansa Clip Zip on piston I listen to -4 dB to 2 dB at max with most now a days recordings

    Discomfort With mdr v55 maybe it is due to the tight clamping pressure on ears I guess. Within few minutes of hearing it heats up my canals and extended hearing just increases it more. Senheiser HD 201 was very comfortable for me so I guess long pads suit me better. Since mdr V55 housing was small even replacement pads didn't help

    Also how would you compare m50x with logitech ue 6000? I also would like buy an amp just to boost bass(volume levels might be sufficient with desktop) would fiio e6 be good enough or shall I go for higher models such as e11/19?

    Thanks again! You're a god send to the head fi community.

    PS: I bought a Logitech UE 6000 just now. I loved the reviews as well as got a good deal for the same locally in India for 77$. I will give out my impressions and maybe I'll get M50X from US in case UE 6000 doesn't suit me. Any further opinion on the same is appreciated ! Thanks DisCHORDDubstep for your suggestion too!

    Final EDIT : Got my UE6000 and guess what its the perfect match for me. Can't be more happy with the signature, pretty much great upgrade on piston's signature in noise cancellation mode. Bass thump is awesome as well as great mids, instrument seperation is amazing. Noise cancellation off also makes a great balanced signature. Top notch headphone imo. Hope you'll review it some day ljokerl! Thanks a ton DisCHORDDubstep for your perfect suggestion, can't be more happy with the purchase :)
  9. Armaegis
    The Amperior is really very close to the HD25, but given the lower impedance it'll behave differently depending on the amplifier. In general, I'd say it's cleaner up top but slightly looser in the midbass region, with a decent amp negating the difference in the bass.
  10. suman134

     thanks .
  11. ozyx
    I currently have the cheaper MEElectronics Air Fi Runaway which get better reviews than the matrix2 for some reason. I really like the convenience of BT headphones, but I want better quality sound so I decided to order the CAL!
    How do the matrix2 compare to the CAL! ?  If they sound as good then I wouldn't mind spending $40 more for the convenience of Bluetooth. If they sound better than the CAL! then it would be a no-brainer.
  12. ljokerl Contributor
    Hmm... didn't see this post before.
    I don't own a Runaway myself - just borrowed it when I reviewed the Sony SBH80 and got some brief impressions. I wasn't as impressed with its sound as with that of the Matrix2 - it's decent but somewhat unexciting. Best thing about the Runaway is how lightweight and comfy it is. Probably why it gets better reviews. 
    The CAL! and Matrix2 sound very different - the CAL! is pretty warm and bassy, with smooth treble. The Matrix is more neutral overall, with just a bit of bass punch and mild roll-off (again, not the case with the CAL!). It's not as warm and the top end, while smooth, has pretty decent presence. Signature-wise the Matrix is more comparable to a Senn HD429 or 558 or something. 
  13. ozyx
    Thanks! Have you tried any other Bluetooth headphones, such as the Jabra Revo, Philips Fidelio M1BT / M2BT or Bose Soundlink On-Ear?
  14. ljokerl Contributor
    Only the Revo, but I thought it was too bassy for its own good. I've tested about a dozen BT sets in total so far, which is a pretty small number, but I'll be posting my findings in a concise format pretty soon.
    ozyx likes this.
  15. ozyx

    A similar thread to this one about BT headphones would be great!
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